‘Gentlemen & Scholars’ looks to positively impact 1,000 kids this year
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - If the name “Gentlemen and Scholars” sounds familiar, it should.
They have hosted spelling bees for the past six years and reward their winners with scholarships. So far, the organization has given out more than $12,000 to students in the South Bend community, but that’s not all they do! This non-profit is working year-around to positively impact our community.
”Gentlemen and Scholars is loosely based off my life,” explains William Douglas, Founder of Gentlemen & Scholars Inc.
Family, pushing each other to understand the importance of education.
“My uncles raised us to be gentlemen and scholars, to act in etiquette and manners, style and great grades. So, all I did was take my lifestyle and turn it around into a corporation,” Douglas continues.
One man, turning into a group of four gentlemen, looking to inspire the next generation of scholars.
“Gentlemen and Scholars is a non-for-profit. Our mission is to equip the youth with the skills necessary to become better versions of themselves,” explains Cory Brazier, the Director of Presentations for Gentlemen & Scholars Inc.
Over the last several years, Gentlemen and Scholars would partner with places like the South Bend School Corporation, Boys and Girls Club and Kroc Center. They would bring their etiquette and life skills program to them. Now, everything will operate out of their new home in the Impower Center on Lincoln Way West.
“Any given class the tables can be out of here, we can be in a round table setting. So, we set the situation up whether its role play for what we need for that class during that week,” explains Douglas.
Each co-ed class consists of about 30 kids from all over Michiana. They range between the ages of seven and 17 and meet once a week for eight weeks.
“They will be here after school being exposed to real life situations as far as different community leaders coming in and pouring into them and different professions. They will be exposed to all different skills that they may need just to go through life,” says Brazier.
Skills like handshaking, public speaking, how to tie a tie, how money works, conflict resolution, entrepreneurship, cooking, and more
“Once they learn how to express themselves, whether it is through vocabulary or just being able to look someone in the eye or speak in public, we find their self-confidence builds, and they won’t act out in other ways that seems to be negative,” says Brazier.
A program highlighting the importance of education, proving that being smart is cool, that knowledge really is power.
We know that kids need extra, whether its love, whether its care, whether its mentoring so it is important to us to be those mentors. All of us are fathers, husbands, and leaders in our community in our own right. So, when we bring that together, it shows a solidarity of male leadership with one cause and that is to help the kids,” says Douglas.
Kids who will quickly become gentlemen and scholars.
Gentlemen and Scholars has the goal of reaching 1,000 kids this year alone. If you know someone who would be interested in this class, please call William Douglas at 574-367-1576 or Cory Brazier at 574-309-2760.
There are also opportunities to sponsor a child or even just donate to support their mission. If you are interested in these options, please call William or Cory at the numbers listed above.
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